A report that a man in a flying-machine would fly from the top of the Brooklyn City Hall at 3 P.M. yesterday drew a crowd of thousands of persons to the neighborhood. A little after 3 William McConnell, a telegraph lineman, went up on the roof of the City Hall to adjust a wire, and being mistaken for the flying man did all he could to keep up the illusion by occasionally waving his arms and kicking at the wide, wide world. It was 5 o’clock before the crowd concluded to go home. Meanwhile the Brooklyn Argus had discovered a flying man at Gravesend and had done him up in this style:
A queer looking object passed over the southerly end of the village yesterday afternoon, about a thousand feet or so up in the air. The time was 5:15 o’clock, and the object was evidently a flying machine operated by a man. It was not at all like a balloon, and not more than one-fourth of the size of an ordinary balloon. It was black and more resembled an immense bug in appearance than anything else. It had four arms, or legs, which were operated by the occupant with a motion very much like that of a turtle when swimming. The operation of the arms had the effect to cause the machine to move somewhat across the current of the wind, so that while the wind was blowing from the southeast the machine was making a westerly course, and looked as if it would pass on the south side of Staten Island or across to Keyport, N.J., provided it did not make land or fall in the water before it reached that point. Sometimes the machine would roll as if it would turn over completely, but it did not. The face of the occupant could be seen looking down from the forepart of the machine and it looked as though he was in the position of a person swimming, with the machine above him and fastened close to his body. Just as he passed the point where the New York and Brighton Beach Railroad passes over the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad, a train on the latter road came along and the engineer blew his whistle, to which theÂ flying man responded by flapping his arms vigorously.
More than a month ago a similar story of a flying machine was published in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The queer object was described on the authority of a druggist of that city of good character for veracity. He said he called the attention of several bystanders to it, and they corroborated his account. Reports of the machine were also received from several points in the interior of Kentucky under circumstances that excluded the idea of collusion.